The U.K. needs to substantially expand its capacity for storing electricity for longer in order to maintain energy security as it shifts to greener power, according to Aurora Energy Research.
As much as 24 gigawatts of long duration electricity storage — about eight times the current installed capacity — may be needed to help integrate intermittent renewable sources like wind into the energy system, according to a report by the Oxford-based power analytics company.
“This amount of storage capacity will not only play a major role in reducing emissions, but also significantly reduce the U.K.’s reliance on imported gas and in return, keep household energy bills lower and less volatile,” said Stephen Wheeler, managing director of SSE Renewables.
Britain is targeting eliminating fossil fuels from power plants by 2035, with renewables playing a key role. But unlike gas- and coal-fired stations, wind and solar power generation can’t just be turned on when needed and are at the mercy of the weather. That means more storage is needed to keep those supplies for longer — even just a few hours — until required.